Next iPad to Be Thinner & Lighter Due to iPad mini Display Tech

iPad GF2 DITO Display

Apple will adopt the same display technology used in the iPad mini for its next generation full-sized iPad, sources speaking with DigiTimes claimed Thursday. The GF2 DITO display technology, first used by Apple in the iPad mini, will help the company make significant reductions to thickness and weight in the next round of iPad refreshes.

The current iPad display uses “G/G” technology, an older sibling to the new GF2 process. This technology is partly why the full-sized iPad is noticeably heavier than many competing full-sized tablets and even the two-year-old iPad 2.

The introduction of the Retina display in the third-generation iPad, and the necessary addition of a larger battery to accompany it, forced Apple to increase the thickness and weight of the product over that of its immediate predecessor. The fourth-generation iPad, released last fall, shares the same physical characteristics. In order to compete with thinner and lighter products, Apple is moving quickly to find ways to reduce the iPad’s size without compromising quality.

According to DigiTimes, the GF2 DITO process is one solution:

Apple’s current 9.7-inch iPad models use a G/G touch screen structure. The sources said Apple’s move to use DITO technology shows the company is looking to bump up its competition in the tablet segment and that it has more adequate supply to the technology compared to one-glass-solution (OGS) technology.

The GF2 thin-film production process was reportedly a significant cause of iPad mini supply constraints. Now that production issues have been solved, however, sources claim that Apple will stick with the same supply chain as it moves to implement the technology in the full-sized iPad. This includes thin-film materials supplied by Japanese firm Nitto Denko, touch screen modules from Nissha Printing Co., and assembly by LG Display and Sharp.

Once production has ramped up, industry sources expect maximum production to reach four to five million units per month throughout the rest of 2013.

In addition to a new display technology, rumors and leaked photos suggest that the next generation iPad will share the same relative proportions as the iPad mini, with thin bezels on the sides and an overall narrower form factor.